Pekin, Illinois | 1824-2024

downtown Pekin Historic



downtown Pekin Historic
Celebrating The Past

200 Years

downtown Pekin Historic
Celebrating The Past

200 Years

downtown Pekin Historic
Celebrating The Past

200 Years


Pekin Bicentennial

A Yearlong Celebration 200 Years In The Making!

Welcome to the official website of the Pekin Bicentennial Celebration! As we commemorate the 200th anniversary of our town's founding, we are reminded of the rich history and the pioneer spirit that have shaped our community over the years. From the first settlers who courageously ventured into the unknown and built their homes along the Illinois River, to the present-day residents who continue to nurture and grow our town, we owe a debt of gratitude to all those who have contributed to our town's success. This website is dedicated to honoring our past, celebrating our present, and envisioning our future. Join us in a year long celebration as we explore the fascinating story of our town's journey from its humble beginnings to the thriving community it is today.

See Pekin's History

About The Pekin Bicentennial Committee

About Us:

Made up of volunteers from various organizations including the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, the Dirksen Congressional Center, Pekin Main Street, Pekin Public School District 108, Pekin High School District 303, the Pekin Park District, the Pekin Civic Chorus, Artistic Community Theatre of Pekin, Lakeside Cemetery Association, the Tazewell County Genealogical & Historical Society, the Pekin Public Library, and others.

Our Mission:

To plan, organize and conduct a multifaceted and multi-generational celebration of Pekin, it’s 200 year history and the people that defined it.

Our Vision:

We will solicit participation through a diverse collection of public and private groups, hosting an event monthly, structured around a central community gathering. We will share the history of our collective past, encourage citizens to discover the story of their family’s past, and point out the power of our possibilities for a better future.

Bicentennial Events

Pekin honors its Veterans during the kickoff to the Downtown Street Fair

June 15th, 2024.

Starting at 10am, the parade will make its way down Court Street, culminating at the stage on the corner of Court Street and Capitol Street.

This parade is a great chance to honor our remaining World War II veterans, let our Korean war veterans know they are not forgotten, welcome home our Vietnam veterans and support our younger generation of veterans as they march and ride down Court Street. Also join us in paying our respects to the sacrifices of those Pekin has lost and the families they leave behind by honoring and supporting our local Gold Star Families.

The parade will feature various military and veteran’s groups. Veterans can contact their respective Pekin based Veteran Service Organization to learn how to join their group or sign up at to enter the parade lineup.

After the parade, a short ceremony will take place, offering a glimpse into the lives of those who served our country 200 years ago. Gain insights into the historical significance of their service and the impact it had on shaping Pekin's history.

Let's Hear From You

Pekin, What's Your Story?

Have a favorite Pekin story or photo to share about you or a family member? We'd love to hear it.

Share Your Story
Who's From Pekin

Notable Pekinites

Learn about individuals who called Pekin home.

Learn More

Pekin Bicentennial
Historic Adventure Quest

"Start Your Adventure Today"

  • Find 10 hidden caches placed around historic sites in Pekin
  • Locate 10 information gathering only locations
  • Put all the clues together to solve the challenge
  • Learn history along the way
  • Submit the correct answer and be entered for a chance to win prizes!

Bicentennial Merchandise

Looking for some Pekin Bicentennial themed merchandise? Here's our recommendations.

Additional Pekin Links:

  • City Of Pekin
  • Discover Pekin
  • Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Pekin Park District
  • Pekin Library
  • Tazewell County